This article is provided for information and education purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Readers are encouraged to do their own research and consult a professional before making any investment decisions.
At DCEBrief, we are committed to providing the information that our readers need to educate themselves about the digital currency and blockchain revolution. As part of that commitment, we support the efforts of other groups and organizations that share that vision. After all, true mass adoption of this technology innovation required an educated and informed population.
We recently had an opportunity to interview Erica Stanford, co-founder of Cryptocurrency Simplified – a platform that shares our commitment to ensuring that people have the resources they need to understand and use digital currency and the blockchain. In that interview, she provided details and insight about her exciting project.
DCEBRIEF: What is Cryptocurrency Simplified?
STANFORD: Cryptocurrencysimplified.com is an information platform that translates crypto and blockchain into simple English. There are ‘how to’ guides on how to get set up, buy your first Bitcoin, send a crypto transaction, store crypto safely, use crypto, and spend it. There is information about the use cases of DLT, blockchain and cryptocurrency to help people and companies see where it’ll be relevant for them and how they can make the most of these technologies. There is information about and interviews with founders of crypto projects, explaining in simple terms that anyone will be able to understand how they might be relevant. There will also be information on how DLT is benefiting disruptive tech, helping people get informed on how to stay ahead of the game. The whole site is free and impartial - we’re not paid by any cryptocurrency or ICO.
DCEBRIEF: Why did you start your website, cryptocurrencysimplified.com?
STANFORD: When we heard about crypto, in early 2017, there were few really good, free sources of information on the best ways to get started or learn how to get involved, other than a lot of research, trial and error, and some very expensive mistakes. Lots of friends and others started coming to us wanting advice on crypto - how to buy bitcoin, how to get involved, etc., so rather than just writing a lot of individual ‘how to’ emails from what we had learned, we started to put together one website that would be a neutral, free, go-to site for anyone wanting to know how to get started in crypto.
DCEBRIEF: How do you see Cryptocurrency Simplified helping the industry?
STANFORD: There’s a lot of noise and a lack of free and reliable resources about crypto. A lot, if not the majority, of social media about crypto projects and ICOs is paid for – sponsored - by those projects, and much of the news and hype has an agenda. There are so many scams in crypto and so much incorrect information out there that it’s easy for new people just wanting to learn about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain to either not know where to start or to fall prey to scams. Lots of people come to us only after they’ve already lost money to a scam, which is unfortunately easy to do. We’re building a resource which offers free and neutral information about crypto, full of how to guides and information to help people learn for themselves how to spot and avoid scams. That will then empower people, save them from feeling the need to take expensive online courses, and hopefully prevent them from falling victim to the scams or losing money in other ways.
Cryptocurrency, blockchain, & decentralization started off as being very technical - a lot of the writing uses technical terms that most people might not understand. But what is important now is explaining crypto, DLT, and decentralization to the mainstream so that everyone can understand it. In our view, that’s what is going to spread adoption. And when enough people start using blockchain to instantly send money to each other for free, that’s when people will start to question the status quo. Understanding and making crypto easier to use - making it ‘the norm’ - is what will disrupt the dependency many have on centralized third parties, the big banks, and remittance companies
It’s not just about cryptocurrency, of course. Crypto is just one application and use of blockchain technology and a tiny part of the potential offered by DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) and decentralization. Almost every industry in the world is going to be disrupted soon. In fact, we’ll start to notice these changes in the coming years
DCEBRIEF: Where do you see crypto going?
STANFORD: Crypto isn’t all about investing and trading and ICO hype, and hopefully the days of crypto fever and ICO hype are now over. The media tend to portray crypto as a scam because they don’t understand it or are influenced by parties who have an interest in suppressing it. Lots of people have heard the success stories of early investors and see crypto as a way to get rich quick – which explains a lot of the ICO madness we saw last year.
We see crypto and DLT/ blockchain as being mainstream within a few years. Major companies around the world are now taking DLT seriously and there are a lot of serious companies now working on amazing projects and technologies that will disrupt so many industries. This will take away a lot of the control and fees currently held by third parties. There is a large movement working on connecting consumers directly with suppliers, which means lower costs and more convenience for consumers, and higher margins and more autonomy for suppliers who will no longer be dependent on third party middle men.
In crypto, people have control of their own payment accounts and do not have to give away any of their personal information to be able to store or send value. With a crypto account, which anyone with access to the internet can set up, one can make payments and transactions for free to anywhere in the world, instantly, at the touch of a button, rather than having to pay extortionate fees – up to 30% of transactions in some cases - to banks and remittance companies. Banks can also impose delays of days or even up to a month for small businesses, causing huge cash-flow issues, just because they can. The technology is there for them to send your money for free and instantly - but until now they have been making people wait and pay, just because they can. People will naturally gravitate to what is easiest for them. As soon as crypto apps and payment processors make crypto just a little easier to use, which is already happening, people will naturally start using crypto apps instead of bank accounts.
There are still 2.5 billion people in the world who don’t have access to banking. Those who have not been able to access banking facilities until now won’t go to banks, they’ll go straight to crypto. There will simply be no need for anyone to pay 1% + transaction fees, wait any amount of time, or give away any personal details, when there is now a solution that is a thousand times better. Banks will surely try and compete but they have huge overheads compared to crypto projects which tend to be more decentralized and make better use of modern technologies, so it is unlikely that banks will be able to offer the same zero fee transactions.
DCEBRIEF: What else are you working on?
STANFORD: We’re currently finishing the website and creating an online course designed to be very low cost, to offer all information in one place. We’re also organizing day training courses in London to help people get an overview of crypto and blockchain set up, offer consulting in person or over skype on how to get set up and started in crypto, understand the potentials of blockchain technology, and learn how to avoid risks and identify good projects. We’re also part of various blockchain and crypto projects that are aimed at making crypto and blockchain adoption mainstream.
DCEBRIEF: What would you recommend for people who want to get started in crypto?
STANFORD: Read as much as you can, learn how to use coinmarketcap.com and read up about the main cryptocurrencies. Learn about blockchain technology and its use-cases, and how it can disrupt industries. Even if people aren’t thinking of getting involved in crypto, the more knowledgeable one is about these new technologies and the changes that are already happening, the better prepared they’ll be for a future that’s going to see whole industries and employment situations changed. Finally, make sure to go to cryptocurrencysimplified.com for simple English translations of crypto and blockchain and ‘how to’ guides.